Recently Jeff told me that the secretive nature of REMSA and there ‘experiment’ with Paramedics Plus is one of the top transparency issues in our community right now. I would agree. He expressed that concern at Tuesday’s county meeting (FF: 1:06). He asked REMSA to come and explain to the commission what the plan is. Chair Heiberger felt it wasn’t the county’s concern, Barth disagreed. Cindy also went on to say that their are rumors being spread, Barth responded that is why they need to come and explain what is going on.
I agree, the lack of transparency is troubling on this issue. This isn’t about bent up siding or stalling tactics of a petition drive, this has to do with people’s health and lives, the public deserves to know. As Masur also pointed out, many members of REMSA are paid by the county and city tax payers including Doctor Luther who hides more then works, and city health director Jill Franken, who hasn’t given a straight answer since we chose Paramedics plus.
It’s time the county commission and the city council demands answers, even if it is in executive session. Our elected officials, if not the public, deserves to know what this ‘complicated’ plan is.
I could give you a long list of reasons not vote for Dean Karsky, mainly he accomplished nothing on the city council except using a rubberstamp. And when he did have an idea of his own, it would get shot down, like his malt beverage ban idea.
When Dean joined the Chamber’s Board, the city’s ethics commission ok’d the appointment. No surprise, we know who appoints them. While I certainly didn’t defend the decision, I will say that being a Sioux Falls city councilor and a Sioux Falls Chamber board member at least has somewhat of a correlation. But how will other communities and chamber boards in Minnehaha County feel about Karsky sitting on the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Board? I would think that would certainly be a conflict of interest.
Why don’t we save us all the headache of finding out and not vote for him. Vote Bender, Feinstein or Bonilla. As I have been telling people ‘Anybody but Karsky’ we have enough salespeople in local government already, we need to start purging them.
I will be the first to say I don’t always agree with decisions commissioner Heiberger makes, and sometimes she isn’t real big on transparency, BUT what I can see, as chair of the commission, she runs a tight ship when it comes to meetings.
If you ever watch the meetings, as I do, one thing that often stands out is that Cindy runs the meetings with a high level of decorum and professionalism. She is often polite, respectful and thankful of input, whether that comes from her peers, directors or the public. In fact she often disagrees and weighs in just as much as her peers.
Besides the fact that Cindy runs a smooth ship, most of the time, it is not an easy feat, there is a Hell of a lot more ruckus that goes on at these meetings then the city council meetings. Many of the commissioners ask tough questions of their directors and staff, and if those answers are not kosher, they let them have it. Barth and Kelly are the most vocal, but Beninga, Bender and Heiberger have also chimed in when they think they are being buffaloed by staff or the public.
Cindy lets them rant, she also thanks them when they are done, even if she doesn’t agree. That’s called ‘decorum’ folks. Cindy understands that in government not everything is a rubber stamp and a bed of roses, there has to be uncomfortable discussion, there has to be debate and sometimes that is ruffling feathers. She allows it at her meetings, because I believe she knows it is important. I have been watching the meetings regularly over the past two years, while Cindy has raised her voice a few times and has asked people to calm down, she has NEVER gaveled her fellow peers and freaked out like a monkey banging a drum, and trust me I have seen over 20 rants between Barth and Kelly over the past couple of years that were way more uncomfortable and controversial then a prepared statement by Stehly. But guess what, they haven’t had ethics violations lobbed at them, because they have a right as elected officials to have these rants, we expect it from them.
As I have said, if Rolfing would have just let Stehly speak, it would have all been over in a few minutes, with practically no drama. Maybe Rex could mentor Cindy for a few meetings and learn something about representative government and how to run a meeting.
Seems the Minnehaha County Commission is taking some moves from Councilor Erpenbach, bitching and complaining about an agenda item that is not working, costing us to much or both, then voting for it anyway. While they all admitted that Dr. Luther isn’t really doing anything for the $30K a year he has received over the past decade, they let him have it again;
All five members of the County Commission raised or acknowledge questions about Luther’s responsibilities at a 2017 budget hearing Wednesday, but Barth was the only member who voted to eliminate the position.
The commission moved instead to extend Luther’s contract one more year as the county pursues a broader study of how rural ambulance services are assigned and regulated.
And let’s talk about duplicity, the city pays over $100K a year for the same service. Why are the taxpayers paying for a service that a private ambulance company is making a profit from? Shouldn’t they be paying fees that supplement his inspection and quality assurance?
Either way, this further proves why we have such a fiasco with our city provided ambulance, why does the city continue to fund this joke of quality assurance;
“It’s our fault we didn’t get more of that money,” Barth said. “It’s our fault we didn’t demand more, it’s our fault that we continue to pay him for this fruitless endeavor.”
A few months ago, the county upgraded their recording equipment to record the county commission meetings. They spent thousands of dollars to do it. They contract with the city’s central services and media department to record and post the meetings in YouTube. If you watch the two past meetings you will see issues.
I often tell people that the things that go on in DC and Pierre are mostly silliness, but locally you can make a difference, I have seen it first hand;
Local Government leaders have more of an impact on our daily life than the Federal ones.
I encourage you to speak out, we have several city councilors that will listen, and act. When I see the stupid sh*t on Facebook about gun violence and the presidential election, I think about how fortunate I am to have one-on-one conversations about policy with my city councilors and county commissioners. They put on the same shoes you do everyday, engage them, you will be pleasently surprised.
Tuesday mornings are heating up at Minnehaha (SD) County Commission Public Input. Bob Kolbe and Dick Kelly are sparring again about history on May 31, 2016. Questions is, is it the county’s or theirs? And if you don’t like it, you can depart.
Rex just doesn’t seem to get it, even when it is explained to him in simple terms. Right before the joint Minnehaha County/Sioux Falls City Council meeting, Rex and Commissioner Chair Cindy Heiberger were having a short conversation about public input before the meeting (they were unaware their microphones were hot).
For the most part, well over 50% of public input deals with property and individual rights which could effect them financially and their livelihoods.
Some one really needs to sit councilor Rolfing down and explain to him that in a democracy we are all ruled equally, with no special classes. If developers, pipeline builders and railroads are allowed to talk as long as they want about their projects, Joe Smith should be allowed to talk just as long about his garage expansion. Equality is one thing that makes our country great.